self-compromise

she stripped all the hair from her body
until her skin thinned and wrinkled like that
of a naked mole rat, smoothing over her curves
like the coating of jelly beans. as she snuggled next to
her partner, who then caressed her bare skin,
she wondered if she could ever embrace this newfound nakedness.

my first time

the first time i wore you,
i hid you underneath my navy sarong.
your white strings, wrapped around my sand-colored neck,
tightened when i smelled our host—
the salty, cold ocean.

i rearranged my towel, my beach bag, my floppy sun-hat
i reapplied sunscreen on my legs, arms, neck
i reminded myself that wearing you
shouldn’t be a big deal.

i uncovered you
and
felt my fleshy sides jiggle more than usual
when i fidgeted on my towel.
the chill breeze tickled my bare stomach, back, thighs
as i ran in the ocean,
trying to hide you, me, from the world.

i discovered the softness of the ocean’s touch
and the warmth of the ocean’s hug
that day.

the first time i wore you,
you felt intimidating,
frightening.

liberating.